5 Signs You Might Have Endometriosis: Family Circle

February 7, 2018

Two women standing near each other while talking


signs you might have endometriosis

Photo courtesy of SpeakEndo.com, on FamilyCircle.com

Family Circle featured endometriosis symptoms to be aware of so that women can have more informed discussions with their doctors.


“It can take up to 11 years from the onset of symptoms to get diagnosed with this painful condition in which the type of tissue that grows inside of your uterus begins to grow outside of it. While there’s no cure for endometriosis—a disease that strikes one in ten women—recognizing the symptoms means you can save yourself a world of hurt. Look for these signs:

1. Your periods are painful. Maybe really painful.

2. You’re avoiding sex.

3. You’re using more pads and tampons than usual.

4. You’re having trouble getting pregnant.

5. It hurts when you go to the bathroom.

Endometriosis is a painful condition that can affect women as early as their first menstrual cycle.


“A lot of women may feel shy coming in to see their doctor with pain during intercourse being the only complaint,” says Natalya E. Danilyants, MD, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialist at The Center for Innovative GYN Care in Rockville, Maryland. But you should overcome that embarrassment and make an appointment.

“Pain during sex is an extremely common symptom of endometriosis,” says Danilyants, who notes that when tissue similar to what’s found in the uterine lining grows in other places in the pelvis it can be aggravated and cause intense pain during intercourse. “The pain can vary in severity but any level is abnormal and should raise the suspicion.”

Take note particularly if it’s during your period when lesions can get inflamed. “Often with endometriosis the pain while urinating or having a bowel movement can be cyclical,” explains Danilyants. Here’s another case where you might mistake your discomfort for other health concerns. “When people think of pain with bowel movements, for example, they think of gastrointestinal issues, but if it is happening simultaneously with your menstrual cycle, that is another sign to watch,” explains Danilyants. Discuss your options with your MD. When it comes to treatment, hormonal treatments (birth control pills, injections, inserting an IUD) and minimally invasive surgery can help.

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